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Thursday December 31, 2020 | by Andrew Page

Without crowds, the six-ton Waterford Crystal ball will descend in New York's Times Square this evening, marking the transition to a more-hopeful new year

Each year since the turn of the millennium, the Waterford Crystal brand has been involved in the famous ball drop in Times Square. It unveiled a totally updated all-crystal design in 2009, and has been renewing its 12-foot "New Year's Eve Times Square" ball, made up of more than 2,500 individual crystals and weighing almost six tons, around a new theme every year. When the team chose for 2020, the pandemic hadn't hit yet, but the "happiness" theme they arrived at could not be a more perfect reminder as the calendar turns to 2021. With vaccines and promising treatments, there is reason to hope for an improvement and, eventually, a resolution to the Covid-19 virus that has killed more Americans this year than soldiers who died in battle in all of World War II. When the ball descends 70-feet this midnight, it will be to an empty Times Square save for a few celebrity performers. But the event, like so much in 2020, will be experienced virtually through live broadcast on television and via this link, to an estimated 1-billion-person live audience.

The glass panels were updated this year, featuring 2,688 individual facets bearing a timeless crystal design that could reference peacock plumage or a jewelry setting. Thanks to elaborate LED system, the ball will flash colors and patterns on its trip down the pole.

The live coverage can be viewed at 6 PM EST via this Internet link.

Glass: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for more than 40 years.